Vacuum sealer

Just vacuum sealed some pet bedding (wood shavings) and matches as a emergency fire starting kit. I figured I was not the first to do this, so I am curious- what do you guys and gals vacuum seal for your paddling adventures?

Not sure how well they hold up…

– Last Updated: Dec-26-14 10:20 PM EST –

I've tried vacuum sealing a few things, mostly electronics I already carried in a dry bag, but noticed the seal pops at some point. Glad I had things double wrapped rather than having salt water get at it. Would like to think it would be a great way to seal small items such as fire starters, first aid and mini repair kits, and just keep them in a life jacket pocket. Again I'm not sure the material is designed to hold up in a dynamic place such as a life jacket pocket. Other people's results may vary.

which vacuum sealer?

I used a food storage type called “Food Saver”

Food saver lasted a few years
Because I do lots of two to three week trips I dehydrate food and vacuum seal the result.

The bags are fairly abrasion resistant though you have to watch out for spaghetti and other sharp edged things.

My unit is worn out and while it still vacuums it wont seal.

What a great idea! Learned something new today.

One of our guys
Vacuum sealed long johns, shirt/ pants, heavy socks /stocking cap. He carries them in his emergency bag year round.



Vacuum seal
I vacuum seal many things, especially items I carry in my PFD - flares, pocket first aid, emergency food gels, metal match , etc. I also vacuum seal Denso tape for boat repair and many of the items in my larger first aid kit. The 4 mil bags tend to hold up pretty well.

i have been thinking…
… about geting a vacuum sealer for those reasons.

I bought an old boy scout survival bag at a yard sale and it was set up for a troop so had something like six sets of everything (tube tent, candle, matches, cotton ball, whistle, etc) all vacuum sealed in individual baggies.

Most people I know use the sealer to make meals. They seal and toss that bag into a dry bag so they don’t have an opened bag of rice for 5 days colledcting moisture and mold.

5 smaller bags makes the food last longer.

I suspect that would be a good way to store emergency things you hope to never need but want to protect, and a good way to store energency clothes to keep them dry in case of accident.

I would suggest that you collect those silica-gel packs you find in electronic boxes, dry them in an oven (LOW heat!**) and toss them onto the bag with whatever you are trying to store.

I saw a guy paddle an IK down the Calif coast. He had his GPS in a dry-box but it fogged and the humidity ruined his GPS.

I put some silica gel pags into my dry-box and dry bag with my GPS and have no problems.

** I put a bunch in an aluminum pie pan, toss them into my oven when it is turned off. The pilot light keeps the inside warm and dry so the packs dry out for use.

another thought
For a jetboil cooking kind of guy,

A vacuum sealed meal in a bag that can be boiled, seal the meal, toss it into the jetboil pot to cook, then use the water for something else and eat the bag contents???

I’ve seen seal-and-boil bags on TV but that was years ago.

Do they still exist?

Are they safe?

Seems risky
the purpose of vacuum sealing is to exclude air which hastens spoilage.

But if the bag is sealed, you have to have moist food inside. And on a multiday trip food with water added seems risky without refrigeration.

That is unless you like to eat hot dried mac and cheese!

Intended Use
We got our unit as a gift several years back and had never used it until the other day while making the emergency fire start kit. Although we do lots of canning and freezing through out the summer, I haven’t done much de-hydrating except for the usual- apples, blueberries, pears and some jerky. I have ordered the book “Camp Cooking Without Coolers 2”. Is it very informative?

I think you dehydrate first
Then vacuum seal, rather than buy the dehydrated meals in a bag. You’re eating home made food which is tastier and healthier but requires more planning and preparation. I have a buddy who does this for trips, makes dehydrates and vacuum seals all his own meals, and stores them in a freezer until he needs them. He’s a chef so probably not a big deal for him, and he takes off on at least 10 day trips so it’s worthwhile cost wise compared to the commercial prepared bag meals.

Have also seen people vacuum seal meals and freeze them for weekend trips, keep well until they’re ready to heat up.

I personally like to “cook” while kayak camping, but I can see the value in quick and easy food preparation.

I’m going to have to look into thicker vacuum seal bags, mine seem to puncture quite easily.

Never heard of that one

has a list of some books. I have about six dehydrating books.

Not sure if your book is addressing car campers or backpackers or involves cans.

In areas where I have to carry water I tend to go with cans of veggies etc as I can carry less water. Normally my trips are on fresh water and I don’t have to carry water so I dehydrate and vacuum seal and toss in freezer till trip time

But cook in bag? You have to add water to the bag. Some foods need to just absorb warm water but others require a little more heating.

My favorites are Dorcas Millers books. You can also google dehydrating for backpacking and come up with some on line sources .

such as

I dehydrate for 2-3 week canoe trips.
I’ve never tried vacuum sealing. I’ve never had any problem with dehydrated food spoiling. I generally pack my dehydrated food in double zip lock bags and then in waterproof packs of one kind or another. If I were tying to do 4-6 week trips without resupply I might consider vacuum sealing for the second half of the trip.